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Parasit Vectors. 2011 May 25;4:90. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-4-90.

Sustained reduction in prevalence of lymphatic filariasis infection in spite of missed rounds of mass drug administration in an area under mosquito nets for malaria control.

Author information

1
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Nairobi, Kenya. sammynjenga@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) was established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000 with the goal of eliminating lymphatic filariasis (LF) as a public health problem globally by 2020. Mass drug administration (MDA) of antifilarial drugs is the principal strategy recommended for global elimination. Kenya launched a National Programme for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (NPELF) in Coast Region in 2002. During the same year a longitudinal research project to monitor trends of LF infection during MDA started in a highly endemic area in Malindi District. High coverage of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) in the coastal region has been associated with dramatic decline in hospital admissions due to malaria; high usage of ITNs is also expected to have an impact on LF infection, also transmitted by mosquitoes.

RESULTS:

Four rounds of MDA with diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) and albendazole were given to 8 study villages over an 8-year period. Although annual MDA was not administered for several years the overall prevalence of microfilariae declined significantly from 20.9% in 2002 to 0.9% in 2009. Similarly, the prevalence of filarial antigenaemia declined from 34.6% in 2002 to 10.8% in 2009. All the examined children born since the start of the programme were negative for filarial antigen in 2009.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the fact that the study villages missed MDA in some of the years, significant reductions in infection prevalence and intensity were observed at each survey. More importantly, there were no rebounds in infection prevalence between treatment rounds. However, because of confounding variables such as insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs), it is difficult to attribute the reduction to MDA alone as ITNs can lead to a significant reduction in exposure to filariasis vectors. The results indicate that national LF elimination programmes should be encouraged to continue provision of MDA albeit constraints that may lead to missing of MDA in some years.

PMID:
21612649
PMCID:
PMC3125382
DOI:
10.1186/1756-3305-4-90
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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